EREN agrees loan with Development Bank of the Council of Europe, guaranteed by the local council.
Council to provide €2 million to finance the project.
Acciona awarded turnkey contract.
Administrative authorisation and environmental impact study published.
Location of the plant confirmed.
Development of a 50 MW biomass plant.
On 7th September 2016, Forestalia announced that it is planning to construct a 49.9 MW biomass plant in El Bierzo, León. In addition to electricity generation, the plant may produce heat.
On 18th November 2016, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Pilar del Olmo, confirmed that Forestalia is planning to locate its biomass plant in Polígono Industrial el Bayo, Cubillos del Sil, where it will occupy a space of about 100,000 square metres.
Forestalia reported that its business group, Sociedad Pública de Infraestructuras y Medio Ambiente de Castilla y León (Somacyl) and the Ente Regional de la Energía (EREN) have worked in recent months in order to jointly analyse all the elements necessary to locate a biomass plant in El Bierzo.
On 25th October 2017, Forestalia announced that it has awarded Acciona Industrial the turnkey contract for the implementation of the biomass plant. The agreement also involves the operation and maintenance of the plant for 15 years.
On 29th January 2018, Pilar del Olmo revealed that the Junta de Castilla y León will provide €2 million to help finance the plant, and that the start of the works is due to begin soon, now that the project has all the permits needed to start construction.
On 9th April 2018, the Junta de Castilla y León gave approval to endorse €42 million to EREN to guarantee the loan from the Development Bank of the Council of Europe (Banco de Desarrollo del Consejo de Europa) to partially finance this project. On 20th March 2018, the EREN Board of Directors formalised a financing contract with the Bank. The rest of the project financing is expected to be completed with loans from commercial banking, as well as with contributions from Somacyl, Sodical, Instituto Financiero de Castilla y León and Forestalia.
Work on the plant will begin in spring 2018 and will last throughout 2019, with the aim of starting operations in early 2020. The contract involves an initial investment of approximately €100 million, and is part of the projects developed after the renewable energy auction in January 2016, in which Forestalia was the highest bidder.
Forestalia says that the installation will have the lowest emissions and best efficiency in Europe, incorporating the latest environmental technology and complying not only with the strict regulations already in force, but also with the latest recommendations of the European Union, in view of the objectives set by the European Commission by the year 2020. Given the high efficiency of the plant, it is estimated that the annual consumption of about 300,000 tonnes of biomass will be necessary, much lower than that requested in the Integrated Environmental Authorisation.
The feedstock will be entirely forestry and agricultural biomass, mainly from areas close to the plant.
On 11th September 2017, the Official Gazette of Castilla y León published the administrative authorisation and the environmental impact study for the project, which is being promoted by Fuerzas Energéticas del Sur de Europa SL, a Forestalia company. The publication opened the start of a public comment period that lasted 30 working days.